Muhammad Zamir Assadi:
On December 3, the New Yorker published an article titled “Biden’s Global ‘Democracy Summit’ Raises An Embarrassing Question: Can Our Democracy Last?” The author Hugh Halpern, believes that “Democracy” may be our civil religion, but in fact it may be a concept/extension supported by a fictional/generalized theory, and one of the political tools of stateless interest groups.
Recently, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance included the United States for the first time on its list of countries with “regressive democracy.” Since Biden served as the CEO, the so-called prospects for improving the “democratic state” of US has been obviously bleak. In March of this year, the democratic monitoring agency “Freedom House” ranked the United States far behind Chile and Slovakia on its democratic status rankings. The reasons include unfair division of electoral districts, money’s influence on politics , the deprivation of the right to vote for colored people, and so on. Therefore the Biden administration planned this “Democracy Summit” with the intention of safeguarding the hegemony of the United States by advocating the so-called “human rights and democracy. You can see it from the list of inviting countries.
Various stories about the American system are popular in the society, from the “Mayflower” to the “City on the Hill”, from the spirit of contract to constitutional democracy. However, this contains both truth and falsehood.
How to pull away “the Mona Lisa’s veil”, we need to return to history, grasp the real political considerations ,analyze the system dilemma of United States behind its rapid rise and the pros and cons of western democracy, representative system and three powers under the epidemic.
This is because not all countries apply the above system, especially from the perspective of the United States’ fight against the epidemic, the ideology of “democracy and freedom” that it vigorously promotes does not allow it to handle many situations related to the epidemic well. Therefore, when we look at the relevant political rhetoric of “democracy,” “freedom,” and “equivalence of power and responsibility,” we should contemplate seriously in light of history and reality.
First, from the American system to interpret. “Western thinkers have spent nearly 100 years constantly castrating the meaning of democracy.” First of all, from the perspective of the history of the Development of the United States, the background of the United States is a group of early immigrants seeking profits — European and American explorers to open up wasteland in North America; The history of the world can tell us how the United States achieved “easy victory” at the beginning. It earned all kinds of capital and talents from all over the world through the two World wars. Therefore, the story of the American hero was “a complete victory at the beginning” due to the good luck of “being in the right place at the right time”. Secondly, from the perspective of the Political system of the United States, it inherited the Representative system of The United Kingdom in its colonial history (where did the representative system come from? The Germanic culture, the Greek city-state system in the middle Ages, and the aristocratic politics, all of which represented the interests of a small number of people), and gradually formed the “three-power balance” of the United States. Finally, the origin of American system is more like “company state”, which combines the patriarch of commercial company state (Rome — Venice) and the comprehensive integration of capital and state (Netherlands — Britain), and gradually forms the current American system according to the needs of national development.
Second, the United States of America, as the only superpower in the world today, is riddled with business logic in its institutional development and evolution. Congress is America’s board of directors. Who are the real shareholders? As the CEO, whose interests does the elected president represent? Afghanistan, the Middle East war, the Kosovo war, the south China sea incident, the trade war, anti-dumping policy against China, and many other events are deeply imprinted by the United States and NATO countries led by the United States, which have brought great negative impacts on local governments, society, and people. Do they, who hold high the banner of “democracy and freedom”, really take into account the rights of local people’s life and health? Are all actions directed solely for the benefit of the big capitalists?
Third, the profound causes of the current crisis in the United States and the West —- The shortcomings of the American system appear, whether it is suitable for all countries and regions? The time, resources and opportunities of the country are historical choices. Instead of heroes creating current events. Each of us should be able to think independently and have the freedom to choose. We should not blindly believe in “Western democracy/American mythology” and think about what is “the people” and who defines it. What is “democracy” and who is “Lord”? How to achieve the authentic “equal rights and responsibilities”; What is “freedom” and whether we should consider “freedom and cost” are closely related. As Tocqueville noted in The Old Institutions and the Revolution, people seem to like freedom, but really they just hate their masters.
Fourth, what are the core of the words freedom and democracy? Marx, who was born in Germany, said, “Thought will make a fool of itself when it is separated from interest.” Darwin’s theory of animal evolution, French bourgeois revolution, MAO Zedong’s “power through the barrel of a gun”, Mandela’s “racial equality”, Mahatma Gandhi’s “non-violent” movement and other theories and events are all a series of manifestations of “modern national democratization”. And have we ever thought about the game of interest groups behind the Declaration of Independence?
Fifth, as a superpower in the world today, whether it has undertaken the corresponding responsibility/civilized morality of a community with a shared future for mankind. American drama “House of Cards” objectively reflects various details of the American system, and also projects how the American government uses the card of international organizations in the game. The actual beneficiaries and victims can be traced one by one.
Sixth. Time is the only criterion for testing truth. Why are all the four ancient countries existing in the East? What changes and developments have taken place in Western civilization? In the past century, Western countries have improved well. With the internationalization of English, we should think about how our own language, culture and civilization have been affected. Do the advantages exceed the disadvantages? We should examine our own background. Who am I? What kind of people are we?
Seventh, human beings are animals and like freedom by nature. And in the process of development came to governance, tribes – city-states – states – nation-states – modern states; Politics is made by people, who is the real beneficiary behind it? We can refer to monomer’s coup in February this year. Is it a diplomatic setback for Myanmar? What was the underlying reason behind America’s recent withdrawal from Afghanistan? How have governments at all levels dealt with the epidemic/war/refugee issue, and how have people’s lives and health rights been protected? Since water can carry a boat, it can also overturn it. Where should the boat go? When it comes to western democracy, it seems that it can be viewed in the movie Titanic, such as aristocratic spirit, racial discrimination, class system, capitalism, freedom and civilization.
Eighth, the COVID-19 mutant strain B.1.1.529 (also known as the “African Toxin King”) was discovered, and mankind is facing a new round of global crisis. The United States has repeatedly occupied communal resources in such a crisis. At this time, as a superpower, it should assume its due responsibilities as a great power, abandon its “colored glasses” and take the initiative to jointly develop new vaccines with doctors from other countries, so as to tide over the difficulties with people around the world, instead of playing “media games” all the time.
On the other hand, China’s words and deeds are consistent in vaccine diplomacy and humanitarianism. A community with a shared future for mankind is a matter of global concern, rather than being deprived of/ceding its right to speak. Biodiversity and the right to divine health are fundamental foundations for the survival of civilization and for the better progress of social, political, economic and other fields.
In short, eliminating the false and preserving the truth and tracing the source are the methods that should be paid attention to in the development and change of anything. I think that some people will see clearly what is true “democracy” and how to do their best and fight for their due rights. Tagore said, if you shed tears when you miss the sun, you also miss the stars.